Hunter Biden, the son of 2020 contender and former Vice President Joe Biden, opened up about his struggle with addiction in a new interview released Monday, saying he did so in part to get ahead of future stories which could impact his father.
“Look, everybody faces pain,” Hunter Biden told The New Yorker’s Adam Entous. “Everybody has trauma. There’s addiction in every family. I was in that darkness. I was in that tunnel – it’s a never-ending tunnel. You don’t get rid of it. You figure out how to deal with it.”
In an extensive and deeply personal interview with The New Yorker, Hunter Biden, 49, details his abuse of alcohol and drugs, which included first using cocaine while in college at Georgetown.
The youngest Biden son, whose older brother, Beau, died after a battle with brain cancer in 2015, has been in and out of rehab several times. In 2014, he was discharged from the Navy Reserve after testing positive for cocaine.
During one stretch where Hunter Biden was drinking heavily, he said, his father came to his Washington apartment unannounced to check in on him, saying, ” ‘I need you. What do we have to do?’ “
Family concerns, including Hunter Biden’s troubles, weighed heavily on Joe Biden’s decision whether to run for president in 2020. He had passed up a White House run in the 2016 campaign as his family struggled with the passing of his son Beau just months prior.
“From the time they were born, including my children, they have been in the public eye. It’s not a bad place but not an overwhelmingly comfortable place to be. Everything that happens is public knowledge. You get to celebrate publicly and you have to share your grief publicly. And so they’re not naïve,” Joe Biden said in February.
“The first hurdle for me was deciding whether or not I am comfortable taking the family through what would be a very, very difficult campaign,” he added. “The primary will be very difficult. And the general election, running against President Trump, I don’t think that he’s likely to stop at anything, whomever he runs against.”
In the New Yorker interview, Hunter Biden also discussed his past relationships, including with his former wife, Kathleen, and brother’s widow, Hallie. Hunter Biden married a 32-year-old South African woman in May.
“I called my dad and said that we just got married. He was on speaker, and he said to her, ‘Thank you for giving my son the courage to love again,’ ” Hunter Biden said. “And he said to me, ‘Honey, I knew that when you found love again that I’d get you back.’ “
The article also details Hunter Biden’s business dealings, including work in Ukraine and China, which have become fodder for President Donald Trump and his allies.
Hunter Biden told The New Yorker that after seeing reports that Trump wanted the Department of Justice to investigate him, he noticed a helicopter flying overhead.
“I said, ‘I hope they’re taking pictures of us right now. I hope it’s a live feed to the President so he can see just how much I care about the tweets,’ ” Hunter Biden said. “I told Melissa, ‘I don’t care. F*** you, Mr. President. Here I am, living my life.’ “